Photo by: Ken Grosse/UCSD Athletics
Sophomore Cole Martinez
No. 14 UCSD Caps Regular Season and Looks to Stay Unbeaten in WWPA at Santa Clara Thursday, UC Davis Saturday
Release: Wednesday 11/02/2016 

Overall: 12-6
WWPA: 4-0
Home: 5-3
Away: 3-2
Neutral: 4-1

Match 19
at No. 20 Santa Clara (11-12, 2-2 WWPA)
Thursday, Nov. 3 • 6 p.m.
Sullivan Aquatic Center • Santa Clara
Live Stats • Live Video

Match 20
at No. 8 UC Davis (19-4, 4-0)
Saturday, Nov. 5 • 12 p.m.
Shaal Aquatics Center • Davis
Live Stats • Live Video

The 14th-ranked University of California San Diego men's water polo team concludes its regular season with two road contests against Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) opponents. The Tritons will try and preserve a perfect conference record with matches against No. 20 Santa Clara, on Thursday, Nov. 3 at 6 p.m., and No. 8 UC Davis on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 12 p.m. The regular season conference champion receives a first-round bye at the WWPA Tournament.

The Tritons were rated 14th in the most recent Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) national poll. UCSD started the season ranked ninth. For full rankings, click here.

The Tritons grabbed two wins against Concordia and UC Irvine in their last two competitions. UCSD routed Concordia 21-7 with Jack Ellinthorpe and Andy Moore putting away four goals apiece. With the game tied 6-6, freshman Cooper Milton provided the game-winning goal for a one-score victory against UC Irvine.

UC San Diego 21, Concordia 7
UC San Diego 7, UC Irvine 6

(as of Nov. 2)
1. UC Davis 4-0, 19-4
2. UC San Diego 4-0, 12-6
3. Loyola Marymount 3-1, 10-13
4. Santa Calra 2-2, 11-12
5. California Baptist 2-3, 18-9
6. Air Force 1-4, 7-14
7. Concordia 0-0, 5-14
8. Fresno Pacific 0-6, 9-16

Goals: Arman Momdzhyan, 31
Assists: Nick Alexander, 36
Points (goals+assists): Nick Alexander, 52
Steals: Jack Turner/Carson Ivancovich, 22
Saves: Jack Turner, 180

With 36 assists this season, senior Nick Alexander now has 126 for his career, which puts him third all-time. Ahead of him is John Butler (134) and Adnan Jerkovic. Jerkovic is UCSD's career assist leader by more than 100 at 237.

With 15 assists and 20 steals this season, Andy Moore now has 94 assists and 105 steals for his career. He will need 14 assists and 40 steals to enter the all-time top 10. 

Sophomore goalie Jack Turner now has 395 career saves with 187 coming this year. He will need 51 more to enter the all-time top 10. 

12 Tritons have combined for 22 hat tricks:

Arman Momdzhyan (4)
9/8 vs. Iona (five goals)
9/10 vs. Johns Hopkins (five goals)  
9/15 at Cal Lutheran (four goals)
9/23 vs. Fresno Pacific (four goals) 

Skyler Munatones (3)
9/15 at Cal Lutheran (three goals)
9/21 vs. Loyola Marymount (three goals)
10/7 at Pomona-Pitzer (three goals)

Jack Ellinthorpe (3)
9/10 vs. Johns Hopkins (four goals)
10/7 at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (four goals)
10/20 vs. Concordia (four goals)

Nassim Hmeidan (2)
9/8 vs. Iona (three goals)
9/30 at Air Force (four goals)

Nick Alexander (2)
9/9 vs. Brown (three goals)
10/12 vs. Long Beach State (three goals)

Andy Moore (2)
10/7 at Pomona-Pitzer (three goals)
10/20 vs. Concordia (four goals)

Kevin Asplund (1)
10/7 at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (three goals)

Ari Wayne (1)
10/8 vs. Penn State Behrend (five goals)

Kacper Langiewicz (1)
10/8 vs. Penn State Behrend (five goals)

Rich Farley (1)
10/8 vs. Penn State Behrend (five goals)

Luka Vasiljevic (1)
10/8 vs. Penn State Behrend (three goals)

Collin Sullivan (1)
10/20 vs. Concordia (three goals)

20th-ranked Santa Clara is 11-12 overall and sits in fourth in the WWPA with a 2-2 record in conference play. Graham McClone leads the Broncos in goals, assists and steals with 49, 26 and 25, respectively. Keaton Fox and Patrick Collins have split goalkeeping duties this season. Collins has amassed 106 saves and Fox has 105 saves on the year. Keith Wilbur is in his 14th season as head coach. 

The Tritons hold a 43-3 all-time series record against Santa Clara. UCSD knocked off the Broncos at last year's WWPA Tournament with an 11-9 win.

No. 8 UC Davis is undefeated in WWPA play with a 4-0 record and 19-4 overall. The Aggies are on a seven-game win streak, most recently defeating then-No. 8 Pepperdine, 10-9. UC Davis will play Loyola Marymount on Thursday before taking on the Tritons Saturday. Ido Goldschmidt leads the Aggies with 39 goals and 31 assists on the season. Sasa Antunovic and Marcus Anderson have scored 34 and 35 goals, respectively. Spencer Creed averages 7.9 goals against and 9.5 saves per game. Head coach Daniel Leyson is in his fourth year at the helm. 

UCSD is 47-15 all-time against the Aggies. The Tritons defeated UC Davis by a score of 6-5 in the 2015 WWPA Tournament title game to win the conference championship. 

UCSD head coach Denny Harper is in his 37th season leading the Tritons. He has compiled a career record of 626-462-4. An 18-time WWPA Coach of the Year and 13-time ACWPC National Coach of the Year, Harper has directed the Tritons to 18 WWPA titles and 14 appearances in the NCAA Championship. Last season, he was named both WWPA and ACWPC Division II Coach of the Year, his fourth straight time earning that award and his eighth since 2000.

Junior utility Arman Momdzhyan was named the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Co-Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 5-11. Momdzhyan, a transfer from Los Angeles Valley College, scored 14 goals in four games that saw the Tritons go 3-1 at the Princeton Invitational. He put away five goals in a 21-4 win against Iona to open tournament. The following day he scored twice to help UCSD defeat No. 14 Brown in overtime, 12-11. On the last day, the Glendale product recorded his second hat trick of the invite by firing home five, with three in the first quarter, in a 15-4 rout against Johns Hopkins in the first game of the day. Momdzhyan had two scores in a 12-10 loss to No. 12 Harvard in the nightcap.

The Tritons were picked to finish second in the WWPA by the league's head coaches. UC Davis was selected as the favorite to win the conference with five first-place votes for 35 points. The Tritons received the other two first-place votes and 32 points. The third spot went to Air Force with 21 points. Loyola Marymount and California Baptist tied for fourth with 20 points. Santa Clara and Fresno Pacific rounded out the poll with 12 and six points, respectively.

2016 WWPA Men’s Water Polo Preseason Coaches' Poll
Institution (First-Place Votes), Points
1. UC Davis (5), 35
2. UC San Diego (2), 32
3. Air Force, 21
T-4. Loyola Marymount, 20
T-4. California Baptist, 20
6. Santa Clara, 12
7. Fresno Pacific, 6

Denny Harper, the 2015 Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches (ACWPC) Division II and Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Coach of the Year, begins his 37th year at the helm when the men’s water polo team opens its 2016 schedule this weekend by hosting the Triton Invitational. UCSD is coming off a 15-15 season in which it won the WWPA for the third year running, and placed fourth at the NCAA Championship.

The Tritons will have big shoes to fill with the departure of All-American utility Chase Cockerill, as well as two two-meter players in Tiki Toplak and Tyler Mancuso, and utility Daniel Straub.

UCSD welcomes 12 newcomers, 10 being freshmen, to the team and return 15 players including senior All-American utility Nick Alexander (48 goals, 64 assists and 44 steals in 2015), senior utility Andy Moore (11 goals, 29 assists and 41 steals), redshirt sophomore utility Cole Martinez (31 goals, 18 assists and 27 steals) and redshirt sophomore goalie Jack Turner (248 saves and 35 steals). Twenty-seven of the 28 Tritons on the roster are California natives, with the exception of freshman Perry Brandes, who hails from Alpharetta, Ga. Local products include Kacper Langiewicz (San Marcos/Mission Hills HS), Thomas Higginson (San Diego/The Bishop's School), Martinez (San Diego/La Jolla HS), Rich Farley (Vista/Carlsbad HS/Palomar College), Andreas Stathatos (San Diego/Mt. Carmel HS), Cooper Milton (San Diego/Cathedral Catholic HS), Collin Sullivan (Escondido/San Pasqual HS), John Tony Murphy (San Diego/Grossmont HS) and Jack Ranj (San Diego/Westview HS). For the full roster, click here

UCSD finished the 2015 season at 15-15 overall, highlighted by a third straight yet improbable WWPA tournament title and fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championship. The Tritons, seeded third with a 4-2 regular-season league record, defeated Santa Clara, host Air Force and UC Davis to win the conference crown. UCSD took care of Princeton, 12-7, in the NCAA Championship play-in game to advance to the final four. The Tritons fell to top-seeded and eventual national champion UCLA in the national semifinal and second-seeded Cal in the third-place game.

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UCSD will play two exhibitions against Sunset San Diego and San Francisco Olympic Club on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., respectively, to gear up for the postseason. The Tritons will travel to the WWPA Championship, Nov. 18-20, in Santa Clara for an opportunity to advance to the NCAA Championship. 


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